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The Cheffe

Best Seller
The Cheffe by Marie NDiaye
Paperback $16.00
Jan 19, 2021 | ISBN 9780593311684

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  • Jan 19, 2021 | ISBN 9780593311684

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  • Oct 29, 2019 | ISBN 9780525520481

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“Marie NDiaye is so intelligent, so composed, so good, that any description of her work feels like an understatement.”
The New York Review of Books

“Beautiful. . . . A story about impressions, ideas, and the extreme subtleties of human relationships.”
Chicago Review of Books
“An arresting portrait of a self-effacing genius.”
The New Yorker

“Luminous. . . . Any woman who has ever allowed her career to take precedence, even for an hour, over her offspring, will cringe in understanding.”
The Washington Post

“A sensual portrayal of the indispensable place of talented cooks in the world of the French bourgeoisie. NDiaye’s heroine doesn’t wield overt power over this class, but instead commits herself to delivering savory before sugar, invention and technique before pleasure.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Eminently polished, deliciously rhythmic. . . . The Cheffe is a powerful reminder that any act of creation requires an act of patronage; there is no pure creation without the audience that consumes it.”
The New York Review of Books
“An ode to wasted love. . . . The Cheffe is so gracefully reserved that her story is equal parts alluring and infuriating. Not knowing usually is. . . . What is the price we pay for true originality? NDiaye suggests it might be a rejection of the things we’re supposed to value, that might hold us back.”
“Writing against cliché—e.g., cooking is a site of carnage, not delight—is vital to NDiaye’s novels. Borrowing from Freud, supernatural thriller, and family saga, her work is famously difficult to classify.”
“Like a great meal, The Cheffe leaves us pleasantly sated but still wanting more.”
“[A] portrait of a woman comfortable in her own skin, in . . . hypnotic prose that stalks and surrounds its subject as though hypnotizing it.”
Music & Literature no.8
“Hauntingly original and told in a conversational tone that quickly makes readers feel they are the narrator’s confidants, this is another entry in NDiaye’s already impressive volume of work.”
“[An] engrossing psychological novel. . . . Like the Cheffe’s recipes, at first tantalizingly simple but eventually so austere they threaten to ‘tumble into fruitlessness’ and become useless, the narrator’s efforts to describe the Cheffe’s mind and heart are both enthralling and fundamentally unreliable as a record of her life. . . . Fascinating and mysterious.”
Publishers Weekly
“A finely constructed work with a surprising and satisfying ending, like a fine meal leading up to a delicious dessert.”
Library Journal


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